Canada, the Provinces, and the Global Nuclear Revival

Canada, the Provinces, and the Global Nuclear Revival: Advocacy Coalitions in Action

Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 392
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Canada, the Provinces, and the Global Nuclear Revival
    Book Description:

    As the world struggles to meet the growing international demands for electricity, green energy, and alternatives to fossil fuels, the nuclear power sector is experiencing global growth. Nuclear reactors are being designed and constructed at record rates, and Canada is joining the trend, with several provinces considering an expansion of their nuclear presence. Canada, the Provinces, and the Global Nuclear Revival critically examines Canadian nuclear policy in order to show how historic, environmental, economic, and political factors have shaped the direction of the nation's energy industry. Duane Bratt presents a comparative study of the Canadian nuclear sector - using a framework of interest-based coalitions - in its response to the global revival, analyzing nuclear development in Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. The book also answers fundamental questions such as: Has Canada seized international opportunities in uranium mining, reactor sales, and cooperation with other countries in nuclear research? To what extent has the industry been consolidated through mergers and acquisitions, foreign investment, and the privatization of crown corporations? A state-of-the-art exploration of Canada's place in the rapidly shifting world of electricity production by an acclaimed expert in the field, Canada, the Provinces, and the Global Nuclear Revival is a major contribution to the international nuclear debate.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8793-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Figures and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Acronyms
    (pp. xi-xvi)
    • 1 Introduction
      (pp. 3-18)

      The world is in the midst of a nuclear revival owing to three factors coming together at the same time: a substantial rise in the global demand for electricity, increased attention placed on the problem of greenhouse gases (GHGS) contributing to climate change, and the need to diversify electricity supply away from fossil fuels. Nuclear reactors are being planned and constructed at record rates across the globe. China and India are poised to lead the way, but they are being joined by Europe, South America, Japan, and the United States. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) estimates that seventy-five to...

    • 2 The Canadian Nuclear Sector and the Advocacy Coalition Framework
      (pp. 19-50)

      This chapter maps out the landscape of Canada’s nuclear sector through the lens of the ACF by providing an overview of the main companies, agencies, associations, non-governmental organizations, and regulatory bodies (federal and provincial) connected with the sector, some of the history of the nuclear industry in Canada, the major arguments for and against nuclear power, and the debates over jurisdiction and responsibility for the sector. To do this it separates the actors and their policy beliefs into the pro-nuclear and anti-nuclear coalitions that will be analyzed throughout this book. In addition, it identifies the nuclear policy brokers, explains the...

    • 3 The Global Nuclear Revival
      (pp. 51-108)

      Since this book focuses on how four Canadian provinces have responded to the global nuclear revival, it is critical to examine that development before conducting the case studies of Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. This chapter provides a complete overview of all aspects of the global nuclear revival. It describes it, explains it, identifies the structural changes that have accompanied it, and it analyses its consequences.

      There are three ways to measure the extent of the nuclear revival: by looking at (1) the building of new reactors, (2) the life extension of existing reactors, and (3) increased public support...

    • 4 Ontario
      (pp. 111-148)

      Canada’s nuclear sector began in World War II through its participation in the Manhattan Project. C.J. Mackenzie, who was president of the National Research Council during the war, affirmed in 1961 that Canada’s participation in the project with the United States and Great Britain allowed it to get in “on the ground floor of a great technological process for the first time in Canadian history.”¹ The Manhattan Project was a weapons program designed to construct atomic bombs to be used against the enemy states of Germany and Japan. Canada’s major research contributions were a laboratory established at the Université de...

    • 5 New Brunswick
      (pp. 149-174)

      New Brunswick was the third province (after Ontario and Quebec) to acquire nuclear power. There had been some initial discussion in the 1950s, but the decision to build the province’s first nuclear reactor at Point Lepreau, thirty-five kilometres southwest of Saint John, was not made until the early 1970s. Construction of a CANDU-6, the first of its kind, began in 1975 and the reactor went on-line in 1983. It cost $1.44 billion. The 1980s have been described as the “nuclear age” in New Brunswick, since the Point Lepreau reactor provided 30 percent of New Brunswick’s electricity and contributed a third...

    • 6 Saskatchewan
      (pp. 175-214)

      Even though it does not possess a nuclear power reactor, Saskatchewan still has some of the longest experience with nuclear technology of any province because of its history of uranium mining. Canada’s first uranium mines were at Port Radium in the Northwest Territories (1930s) and, at Elliot Lake, Ontario (1950s), which had the world’s largest deposits at the time. Saskatchewan first became involved in uranium mining in the late 1940s. The discovery of the Athabasca Basin, located in northern Saskatchewan, has been the site for all the major uranium discoveries in the last forty years. Uranium City, along the Saskatchewan-Northwest...

    • 7 Alberta
      (pp. 215-246)

      Unlike the provinces in the previous chapters Alberta is largely bereft of a nuclear history. The University of Alberta does host a small slowpoke research reactor, built by AECL in 1978, for teaching and research. There were also some crazy schemes in the 1950s and 1960s to detonate a nuclear bomb in the oil sands,¹ but that was about it. Consequently, Alberta has represented virgin territory for the global nuclear revival.

      Since Alberta was a brand new market, it would have been simple for the Canadian nuclear advocacy coalition framework to replicate itself in the province. Yet a unique provincial...

    • 8 International Opportunities
      (pp. 247-274)

      The previous four chapters analyzed Canada’s domestic opportunities for taking part in the global nuclear revival. This chapter analyzes Canada’s international participation in the global nuclear revival. The provincial case studies did a little bit of that by addressing electricity exports to the United States as an incentive for building new nuclear reactors. However, this chapter substantially increases the analysis of foreign policy relating to nuclear power in two ways. First, it examines the international opportunities for the Canadian nuclear industry, especially AECL and Cameco. Second, it analyzes the renewal of Canada-India nuclear cooperation. This represents such a fundamental shift...

    • 9 Conclusion
      (pp. 277-306)

      This final chapter provides a comprehensive comparison of the Canadian response to the global nuclear revival by measuring the activity in Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. By measuring the global nuclear revival using multiple indicators, it shows that the record is mixed. Then a multi-layered explanation is provided for why the response to the global nuclear revival was different in each province. Following the empirical aspects, this conclusion revisits the theoretical questions surrounding the advocacy coalition framework that were outlined in the introductory chapter.

      As the case studies of Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and Alberta have shown, the global...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 307-350)
  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 351-376)
  11. Index
    (pp. 377-398)